Is Covalent Stronger Than Ionic: Why, How Detailed Facts


In this article, we are going to see is covalent stronger than ionic bond, why, how and detailed facts.

The ionic bond is not as strong as a covalent bond. The covalent bond is formed by the sharing of electrons while the ionic bond forms when there is a strong force of attraction present between two different ions. Since the bond strength depends upon many conditions and factors.

Covalent bond

When two atoms share their electrons with each other to complete octet or stable electronic configuration then this type of bonding is term as covalent bonding.

Three kinds of covalent bonds:

Single bond: Only one bond exists between two atoms. It consists of a sigma bond. Axial overlapping of orbitals leads to form a sigma bond.

Double bond: Two bonds exist between two atoms. It includes a sigma and a pi bond. Lateral overlapping of orbitals leads to form a pi bond.

Triple bond: There are three bonds that exist between two atoms. It includes two pi bonds and one sigma bond.

is covalent stronger than ionic
Figure 1: covalent bond

Image Credits: wikipedia

Read More On: 15 Coordinate Covalent Bond Examples: Detailed Insight And Facts

Ionic bond

When there is a strong force of attraction present between two different ions that are positively charged cation and negatively charged anion.  Usually, the ionic bond exists between metal and non-metals.

Figure 2: Ionic bond

Image Credits: wikipedia

Read More On: 10 Ionic Bond Examples: Explanation And Detailed Facts

Metallic bond

When a strong force of attraction is present between negatively charged moving electrons present in the crystal lattice and positively charged metal ions, then it is termed metallic bonding.

Figure 3: Metallic bond

Image Credits: wikipedia

Read More On: 5+ Metallic Bond Examples: Explanation and detailed Facts

Why is covalent stronger than ionic?

The ionic bond is not as strong as a covalent bond because,

The covalent bond is made up of sharing of electrons. There is an atomic orbital overlapping occurring in two bond-forming atoms and a sigma bond is formed.

The bond length is small, hence the influence of attractive force is greater and atoms get closer with each other. The single and double bonds are weaker than triple bonds and required high energy to cleave the bond.

The covalent bond can be formed between atoms having the same or different electronegativity values. There is a direct sharing of electrons.

Whereas, the ionic bond is formed when there is a strong force of attraction present between two different ions that are positively charged cation and negatively charged anion. Hence there is an electronegativity difference.

The polarity of the bond decreases as an increase in covalent character with bond strength. Therefore an ionic bond is not strong as that of a covalent bond.

Are polar covalent bonds stronger than ionic bonds?

Yes, Polar covalent bonds are stronger compared to ionic bonds.

When a covalent bond is formed by unequal sharing of electrons, atoms acquire partial positive and negative charges. Then it is defined as a polar covalent bond. Though it consists of polarity in bond, it has a more covalent character compared to an ionic bond.

As covalent character increases bond strength also increases, hence polar covalent bonds are stronger than ionic bonds.

Read More On: 5 Polar Covalent Bond Examples: Detailed Insights And Facts

Is covalent is stronger than metallic bonds?

Yes, the covalent bond is stronger compared to the metallic bond.

When atoms share their electrons with each other, a covalent bond is formed. There is an atomic orbital overlapping, the bond length is small, great attractive force, atoms are closer and has a covalent character.

On the other hand, when a strong force of attraction is present between negatively charged moving electrons present in the crystal lattice and positively charged metal ions, the metallic bond is formed. The atomic orbital overlapping does not take place, comparatively less attractive force and atoms are not close to each other.

Why covalent bond is stronger than a metallic bond?

When two atoms share their electrons with each other to complete octet or stable electronic configuration then this type of bonding is term as covalent bonding. When a strong force of attraction is present between negatively charged moving electrons present in the crystal lattice and positively charged metal ions, then it is termed metallic bonding.

The covalent bond is formed by sharing of electrons. There is an atomic orbital overlapping occurring in two bond-forming atoms and a sigma bond is formed.

The bond length is small, hence the influence of attractive force is greater and atoms get closer with each other. The single and double bonds are weaker than triple bonds and required a high amount of energy to cleave the bond.

But in metallic bonding, positively charged metal ions formed bonds with negatively charged moving electrons. These mobile electrons are exits in a space lattice of a crystal. Hence the influence of attractive force is less and atoms are not close to each other. The atomic orbital overlapping does take place.

Hence metallic bond is weaker than a covalent bond.

Factors influencing Bond strength

  • Number of electrons
  • Bond length
  • Bond energy
  • Orbital overlapping
  • Covalent character
  • Atomic size

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Question: Which is the strongest bond?

Answer: The covalent bond is the strongest bond.

The covalent bond is consists of sigma bonding which is considered the strongest bond among all other chemical bonds.

  • Question: Why is covalent stronger than ionic bonds?

Answer: The covalent bond is stronger than the ionic bond.

The covalent bond is formed by sharing of electrons. There is an atomic orbital overlapping occurring in two bond-forming atoms and a sigma bond is formed. The bond length is small, hence the influence of attractive force is greater and atoms get closer. On the other hand, the ionic bond is formed when there is a strong force of attraction present between two oppositely charged ions. Hence there is an electronegativity difference. The polarity of the bond decreases as an increase in covalent character with bond strength. Hence covalent bond is stronger than an ionic bond.

Answer: The order of bond strength of chemical bonds is as follows,

Covalent bond > Polar covalent bond > Ionic bond > Metallic bond.

Smruti Bhosale

I am Smruti Bhosale. I am from Mumbai. I have Master's degree in Inorganic chemistry from Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Mumbai. I always have a passion for writing and to inspire as many willing minds through my words. Chemistry is a subject that is used by everyone in their normal lives. I want to explain the subject in the most understandable and simplest way possible. I am a creative, hard working person and passionate about learning new things. I like to read books.

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